At this point, when you use technology you expect a certain outcome. It has reached the point that everyday gadgets are incredibly fluid, at least the more popular ones are, but the nature of technology invites a few hiccups that break that fluidity.
Google Chrome is no different. It’s a browser and it isn’t above having the occasional bug or glitch. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can certainly be frustrating. Updates get rolled out often.
Google Chrome, like other web browsers, offer extensions that enhance Chrome’s capabilities. Think of it like adding a new app, because it basically is.
The browser extension Adobe Flash is practically required for streaming audio and video. Unfortunately, these extensions don’t always work.
If you happen across this error of Google Chrome refusing to install an extension, you’ll find here several methods that could get Google Chrome back on track.
1. Updating Google Chrome
A possible solution to Google Chrome’s reluctance to install an extension could be rooted in Google Chrome being out-of-date.
By default, Google Chrome should update all on its own. For one reason or another, it may have gotten disabled along the way.
To update Google Chrome:
- Open Google Chrome.
- Click on Customize and control Google Chrome. This is located at the top right corner of your browser, indicated by three vertical dots.
- Click on Help. This is in the drop-down menu.
- Click on About Google Chrome. This will immediately scan Google Chrome for its version. If Google Chrome isn’t up-to-date, then it will download and install the new update, without you having to do anything.
- Click on Relaunch.
- Google Chrome will now be up-to-date.
As a side note, if you like testing beta version of programs, Google Chrome offers users the opportunity by allowing them to download a beta version.
You can join their community and give feedback.
2. Compatibility Issue
Double-check the compatibility of the extension. Some apps and extensions are specifically for Chromebook, computers that run only on Chrome OS. If you don’t own a Chromebook, you can’t use an extension, even if you’re using Google Chrome.
When you’re browsing the Chrome Web Store, be sure that extension you want can actually be used on your device.
3. Sign In to Google
You may have actually already installed the extensions, but for some bizarre reason, a few extensions could be hidden because you weren’t logged in.
- Sign into your Google account. Specifically, the one you installed the extensions with.
- Click on Customize and control Google Chrome. This is the three vertical dots at the top right.
- Click on More tool. This is in the drop-down menu.
- Click on Extensions.
Here, you can check if the extensions you installed were there the whole time. You can even go a step further by checking your extensions while logged in and while logged out.
4. Uninstall Google Chrome
This should be your last resort, simply because there’s more to it than just uninstalling. Before following the steps, you’ll first want to backup your bookmarks, extensions, passwords, everything.
That may seem like a daunting task, however, all it takes is a few clicks. If you’re not worried about holding onto your browser history, bookmarks, passwords, etc., you can just skip part one.
It should be noted that, if you do backup your files before you reinstate them, try installing the extensions you want and see if they work without the backed up files. This could be an indication that your files were interfering with the extension.
To back up your Google Chrome settings:
- Click on Customize and control Google Chrome. This is indicated by the three vertical dots near the top right of your browser.
- Find Bookmarks and select Bookmark Manager. This can be done with a shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + O.
- Click on the menu.
- Select Export bookmarks. You’ll be asked to choose where you what the file to go. For easier access, you can place it on your desktop.
Backing up your Extensions takes an extra step.
- Hold the Windows Key + R.
- In the search field of Run, type
%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default and click OK
. This opens Google Chrome’s folder where you can find bookmarks, extensions and other data.
- Find Extensions.
- Copy and Paste this folder to a location of your choosing. Your desktop is a good place alongside your other user data that you’re holding onto.
To Uninstall Google Chrome:
- Click your Windows Key. Or click on the Windows Icon near the bottom left corner.
- Type Control Panel in the menu. In Control Panel, you’ll see Programs.
- Click on Uninstall a program. You’ll find every program currently installed on your computer, in alphabetical order.
- Right-click on Google Chrome.
- Select Uninstall. Follow the uninstallation guide.
It doesn’t stop there though. Some programs leave behind files that weren’t deleted when the program was uninstalled. This can get in the way when you reinstall if the root of the issue is still around.
- Go to C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Local\ and find the Google folder. An alternative is running Run, or Windows Key + R, and typing it in instead.
- Delete everything in the Chrome folder.
- Do the same in C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome.
Starting over with a clean Google Chrome may end up being your saving grace. Uninstalling and deleting files left behind nearly ensures that the error was rooted.